PODCAST | First Week of Advent: Conversion and Contrition
How are you going to prepare for Christmas?
On this podcast for the first week of Advent, we reflect on this time that we are given to prepare for that central moment in history when God took on our flesh and began to walk among us. Above all, it is a time to ready ourselves for our eventual meeting with the very person whom we are awaiting and trying to imitate, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Advent, therefore, is a time for conversion. We should not be content with mere tweaking—a few small adjustments that really don’t make much of a difference in our resemblance to Jesus. Instead, we should aim for the stars seeking the kind of conversion that the Holy Spirit longs to bring about in our souls so that we can become what he wants us to become. We want a conversion that reaches every aspect of our being.
Our Lord tells us: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:11). During Advent we should foster a spirit of concentration, which is the capacity to focus on what is truly important and to turn a blind eye on the non-essential. “Lord of all the different things dancing in my head or perhaps weighing down on me, which of those things are important to you and which of those things have zero importance?”
We should ask the Lord to liberate us from the fear of missing out (FOMO) and from the fear of a better option (FOBO). We ask him to liberate us from the slightest tendency to drift into these two enemies of concentration and contemplation. “Lord, I solemnly declare that I am convinced that the very best option is to spend time with you every day.”
There is a final element that can help us in our quest for conversion in the coming weeks and that is contrition. Contrition awakens us to a keen consciousness of the things that ultimately matter: the importance of our earthly life for our eternal destiny. Contrition is such a beautiful act in which we say to God, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I let you down. I’m sorry that I did not focus on the things that really mean a lot to you.”
Through intercession of Our Mother Mary, we ask for growth in the contemplative spirit so that we decide freely and lovingly to find the Lord in everything we do and to allow us to see everything from God’s point of view.
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Msgr. Frederick Dolan, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, was ordained a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1983. He has worked in Rome, New York City, South Bend (Indiana) and New Haven (CT). Since 1998 he has resided in Montreal and has been serving as Vicar of Opus Dei for Canada.